Rushden slimmer Simon hits the back of the net after weight loss!

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A 43-year-old slimmer from Rushden hit the back of the net after reaching the semi-finals of a competition to find the UK and Ireland’s top male slimmers, where he met international football star John Barnes.

Simon Bickerstaff was one of 43 men to win a place at the semi-finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2018 competition after losing an impressive 9st 2lbs. It was there that he was congratulated by the former Liverpool, Watford and England hero.

Simon, who slimmed from 20st 8.5lbs to 11st 6.5lbs at the Rushden Slimming World group, believes it can be hard for men to admit that they need help to lose weight, and that it is especially difficult for them to walk through the doors of a slimming club for the first time.

He said: “I’m so glad I had the courage to walk through those doors. In fact, I haven’t looked back since!

“I think I had a really negative view of weight loss before I joined Slimming World, I thought I’d be constantly hungry and have to give up all of my favourite foods.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong though, I eat just as much as before, if not more.

“I did worry that I’d be the only bloke in the room, and, even if I ever was, it wouldn’t matter because everyone is there for the same reason and it’s such a supportive and friendly environment. All the hints, tips and recipes you pick up in group are really helpful too.

“Losing weight has even encouraged me to think about how active I am too, we go for walks and bike rides as a family now. Getting to meet John was great too, I never knew losing weight would have this many perks!”

Donna Dean who runs the Rushden group that Simon attends, says she is very proud of her super slimmer. She says: “A lot of men think that slimming clubs are female-only zones, so Simon is living proof that this isn’t the case

“In fact, there are now 60,000 men attending Slimming World groups, which goes to show that men need just as much support as women to slim down and improve their health. Slimming World works for everyone, so I hope Simon inspires lots of other people in Rushden – male or female – who’d like to lose weight to take that step and join our group at The Masonic Hall or call me on 07736 546580.”